What you need to know
- Apple has reportedly told Apple Store employees in 100 US locations that they must once again wear masks.
- Customers visiting Apple Stores won't be required to wear masks at this time.
- Apple has also paused plans to require people to work from the office three days per week.
Apple has reportedly told employees at a portion of its United States Apple Stores that they must once again wear masks when at work, although the company has stopped short of requiring that customers also wear face coverings.
The move comes following a report that Apple has also paused plans to require staff to work in the office three days per week from Monday. It's thought that concerns over increases in positive COVID-19 cases are behind the moves. That report came via Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, with a further post to Twitter confirming the move to require masks be worn by some retail employees.
Apple is also reinstating its mask mandate at about 100 US retail stores today — for employees. https://t.co/2Y3SYHDHfzApple is also reinstating its mask mandate at about 100 US retail stores today — for employees. https://t.co/2Y3SYHDHfz— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) May 17, 2022May 17, 2022
It is still unclear at this stage when Apple will require people to work from the office for the previously agreed three days, nor do we know when Apple will remove the mask requirement for the aforementioned retail employees. However, it's likely both cases will be reviewed as the COVID-19 situation changes in the coming days and weeks. Employees must still work from the office two days a week.
This isn't the first time that Apple has required its retail employees to wear masks, of course, but that requirement was dropped as COVID-19 numbers began to fall across the country. Once that happens again, it's likely the requirement will be removed once more.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.